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A Quick Guide to Clip-In Hair Extensions

BY: Colleen Loggins Loster | Dec 29, 2017

Have you ever tried to replicate a bouncy pony or casual braid from Pinterest and found the result to be a bit lackluster? It's frustrating because you should be able to copy these basic looks, but your hair just doesn't seem to be as picture-perfect. There's an easy explanation for that—clip-in hair extensions, as in, the woman in the picture almost always has some in.

But what if her hair doesn't look that long? It doesn't matter. Hair extensions don't just add length, they also add volume, and that's why those hairstyles on Pinterest and Instagram look so good. If you want your own hair to actually resemble the stuff you see on social media, read on to learn more about clip-in hair extensions. And don't forget to click the banner below to grab some of your own.

What are clip-in hair extensions, exactly?

Clip-in hair extensions are bundles of hair with tiny hair combs that can be clipped into your real hair to add instant length, volume, and even highlights. They come in small pieces (known as wefts) or as one large piece that extends from ear to ear, and they're available in various colors, textures, and lengths.

How do you wear them?


  • Figure out where you want your extensions, then section off the hair right above that spot. If you're using all of your extensions, start from the nape of the neck and work upward.
  • Pick three- and four-clip wefts for the back of your head, saving the biggest weft for the middle of your head. Use two-clip wefts on the sides by your ears.
  • Tease your hair before clipping in your extensions to prevent any slipping. Add hair spray for an even better grip.
  • Curl or wave both your hair and your hair extensions to help them blend together more seamlessly.

Do clip-ins use real hair?

Clip-ins are either made with synthetic or human hair. Synthetic-hair extensions are cheaper and never frizz, but most can't be heat-styled (they tend to melt), and they often have an unnatural shine to them.

Human-hair extensions, on the other hand, are pricey, but they can be heat-styled and even colored. Virgin remy hair is the highest quality of human hair because it has never been colored or chemically treated. It's also the priciest.

How much do clip-in hair extensions cost?

Hair extensions cost between $25–$1,500, depending on if they're made with synthetic or human hair. We actually have deals on both synthetic- and human-hair extensions, including:

How long do they last?

Clip-in hair extensions last until you take them out at the end of the night. And you should take them out because sleeping with your clip-ins in can cause damage to your real hair.

How do you take care of clip-ins?

The following applies to human-hair extensions:

  • Cleaning: First, brush them to remove tangles. Next, gently wash them with shampoo if you used any styling products. Otherwise, skip the shampoo and just use conditioner. After rinsing out the conditioner, wrap the extensions in a towel and gently press to remove water. Finish by combing them out and letting them air dry.
  • Storage: Store dry extensions in their original box, shoe box, or silk bag. Always brush them out before storing them.

Do they work with short hair?

It's really hard to make clip-in hair extensions work with hair that's shorter than shoulder-length. Because you need enough length on top to hide the clips underneath, pixie cuts and crops won't work. And it's hard to believably blend a bob with long clip-in extensions. There tends to be a noticeable demarcation between the short natural hair and long fake hair.

However, as Myranda showed in our above video, you can make clip-ins work with bobs if you pick shorter lengths (or cut your long extensions) and opt for curlier hair. Braids and updos also help disguise the fact that you're wearing extensions.